Howard Gardner: Standardized Testing Controversy

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Finding a reliable method to measure intelligence and predict how successful a person may seem to be one of the most controversial issues on the table of most administrations and regulators. The standard technique for measuring intelligence was developed by a man named Alfred Binet, who believed that IQ scores were reliable indicators to determine a human’s intelligence, according to Jacob Lee. Howard Gardner, a brilliant strategist, and educator, opposed the opinion of IQ testing, by providing examples of how in-effective IQ test are and providing a theory on multiple intelligences.

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Although standardized testing is the popular, traditional form of measuring and evaluating intelligence; multiple intelligence testing has emerged and schools are trying to implement these 8 platforms into the curriculum.

Standardized testing is a popular form of testing, because in school curriculum, it’s based on a student’s intelligence. According to Jacob Lee, Howard Gardner believes IQ tests predict school performance with considerable accuracy which can be absolutely true. Standardized testing determines if a student will pass certain grade levels, not necessarily in life or in many other situations, and Gardner also talks about how the student with the lower IQ is vastly more successful in business then the student who scored higher. In a curriculum, teachers are required to give a certain amount of quizzes, test, and daily grades in a grading period. Throughout the period, the student’s grade reflects their intelligence, and how successful they can be; However, Howard Gardner disagrees with that due to the students who becomes more successful with average scores according to Jacob Lee. This leads to Gardner believing that there were multiple intelligence that students posed.

Howard Gardner believed that there were multiple intelligences which existed and manifested itself in a person’s mind through exposure. According to Lee Jacobs, Howard Gardner believed that, each intelligence is activated or triggered by certain kinds of internally or externally presented information. He also said there were supposedly eight intelligences; which are Musical, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Logical-Mathematical, Linguistic, Spatial, Inter-personal, Intra-personal, and Naturalistic intelligence. Musical intelligence is a type of intelligence where a student is exposed to music and are able to play and understand music better than other at a faster pace. These can often be called child prodigies, and people with this intelligence include Ray Charles, and Louis Armstrong. Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence is when a student knows their body and is very active. These are the dancers, basketball players, football players, and so forth. Logical-Mathematical intelligence are students who are able to do problem solving quicker than many others. According to Jacob Lee, Howard Gardner believes this intelligence has, the archetype of raw intelligence or the problem solving faculty that purportedly cuts across domains. These people are usually mathematicians, scientist, or to be more precise, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking. Linguistic intelligence are students who are good with language and grammar, and these are authors, bloggers, or poets. Spatial intelligence are students who can create mental pictures of objects or their surrounding environment. These tend to be your artist, captains (sea travel), and photographers. Inter-personal intelligences is how people are able to understand and communicate with people like, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. Intra-personal intelligence is an intelligence where people can understand themselves and their feelings. This can include people like Helen Keller, or any other ordinary people. Lastly, Naturalistic intelligence are when people are sensitive to nature or their environment. People with this intelligence are geologist, meteorologist, etc… These are all of Gardner’s known intelligences, but there are also advantages to multiple intelligences then having standardize testing.

Schools are thinking about ways to implement the eight platforms into schools. In this situation, it can be seen as difficult, because the curriculum is shaped into a mostly logical-mathematical way. With having core classes like Math, English, Science, and History, students can find some classes un-necessary due to the likelihood of using the knowledge in future jobs or other opportunities. For example, Femin Leal conducted a survey to see if schools were preparing them for college. He said that many believe that their schools aren’t helping them develop the skills they’ll need to succeed after graduation. In this case, if school curriculum didn’t force students to take certain classes, then implementing the 8 platforms could possibly help students understand their skill sets and possible opportunities that await them. According to Jacob Lee, Greeks in the time of Plato and Aristotle seen to have understood much of what Gardner says. and that they included music and dance, for example, in the curriculum of their schools. He also goes on to state how they were able to develop linguistic and interpersonal skills which can be seen as a positive side for the students. If schools could somehow see though with Howard Gardner’s ideas, maybe the students will be more prepared for other forms of schooling due to the benefits of the eight platforms are implemented in school curriculum.

Howard Gardner makes multiple, interesting points regarding the Multiple Intelligence’s. Binet’s IQ testing are seen as un-necessary by many, because it only predicts how successful students will do in schools, not in life. Multiple intelligence programs can be formed in the curriculum; which can enhance a student’s skill set and even discover new skills. I have personally seen this developed within my school, because Mansfield High has programs like band, and choir for Musical intelligent kids, and also basketball cheerleading, football, etc. for those with Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligences. There are more extra-curricular activities being held for different intelligences, but it hints out how much of Howard Gardner’s ideas may have been an influence on school curriculum. Lastly, if a student believes that their school isn’t preparing them for college, or not enhancing their skills they poses, then create a petition that will challenge the school board to have multiple intelligence programs. It could possibly open the eyes to many students, and have a positive influence as it has for me.

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